Saturday, September 30, 2006

Moments of "rightness"

Every now and then I experience these moments where I sense that things really *are* right with the world, and unfolding in a positive direction--even though much of what we see and experience seems to suggest otherwise. Of course, I am fully aware that what I perceive as "God's clues", while they are meaningful to me personally, can easily be explained as ordinary coincidences. But I am thankful when the Universe provides them.

At different points in my faith journey, when I was feeling tenative about my move away from the Catholic church of my youth--more importantly the church of my grandmother, a tiny little something that would happen that would reassure me. Typically, it involved hearing one of Grandma's favorite hymns at the church I was attending. I know those are small, easily dismissed coincidences, but they have something important to say to me at a given moment, and for that I have been grateful.

Today, as my daughter practiced with the church youth choir, I waited, as usual, downstairs in the church library. Having exhausted, for the moment, their selection of books, I turned to the stand where various church newsletters and Episcopal periodicals were displayed. There, I spotted the most recent copy of Episcopal Life.

In it was an in-depth article about Presiding Bishop Elect Katharine Jefferts Schori (as well as an interesting piece about her husband) entitled A Confident Reconciler. Of course, in the past couple days I've written about both Thich Nhat Hanh and Desmond Tutu and their shared recognition that we are all part of a human family. Reading the Jefferts Schori article, I was struck yet again with the feeling that the Spirit truly was in the room when she was being elected. (Her election, came as a surprise to many, as she was not considered a frontrunner.) But the more I learn about her, the more I feel that she really is the right person at the right time. I really encourage everyone to read the piece, or at least part of it, just to get the sense of her style of leadership. It's a style I think we need more of at this point in history.

And then, as I was thinking this, I heard the girls upstairs starting to sing a hymn that I hadn't heard for some time. It wasn't one of the modern Dan Schutte style hymns that had been my favorites, but it's one that I came to appreciate because it was one of Grandma's favorites...

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Again, I know this isn't the stuff of miracles to most people, but for me that moment combined a sense of hope for the future and connectedness to the past--and reassurance that my beloved spiritual role model is still with me today.

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